How do you think the new GigE standards will influence the machine vision industry?
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By Lee J. Nelson
"We're extremely proud of the contribution our employees at Bromont have made to this landmark achievement in space exploration," said DALSA founder, Chairman and CEO Dr. Savvas Chamberlain. "We have a good working history with NASA/JPL and we're thrilled that we can once again play a role in such an important project." (The previous program to which Chamberlain alluded was the Mobile Servicing System: Canadarm2, the robotic manipulator instated at the International Space Station in 2001.)
Edmund Optics Inc's. (Barrington, N.J.) new line of rugged Micro Video lenses addresses industrial and machine vision needs. By incorporating precision optical components inside a sealed assembly, Harsh Environmental Optics—which weigh only a few grams—excel in washdown and other watery surroundings. Edmund Optics offers the lenses, designed for 1/2- and 1/3-inch formats, in four focal lengths with standard M12x0.5 mounting threads. Finite conjugate versions are available for close proximity work in confined areas while two coating options make them ideal for visible or near-IR infinite-conjugate imaging. System integrators use Harsh Environmental Optics beyond typical lab and factory floor scenarios where standard lenses otherwise would fail.
Critical for first responders, law enforcement and security forces, thermal imaging systems must operate when needed, under severe situations and for lengthy intervals. eMagin Corporation's (Bellevue, Wash.) most familiar microviewer may well be found at the local firehouse. The Fire Warrior camera employs a heat- and flame-resistant display module that allows firefighters to "see" through smoke and darkness. According to the firm, Fire Warrior enjoys broad acceptance among professionals, performing admirably either in intense heat or cold.
Total Fire Group's (Dayton, Ohio) Micro Thermal Imager combines a thermal camera with eMagin's organic light-emitting diode (OLED) microviewer, granting hands-free access to potentially life-saving information from a helmet-mounted camera. The S-VGA+ microdisplay withstands temperatures to 85°C (185°F), a full 20 degrees higher than the organization's standard specification device. It's efficient, too: the entire unit—thermal camera, electronics and display—can run at least four hours on two AA batteries.
For other applications, eMagin integrates its OLED-on-silicon microdisplays with thin fiber-optic taper faceplates to create custom-tiled viewers. OLEDs deliver a unique combination of high contrast, flicker-free imagery and ruggedness. Because solid-state OLEDs are not liquid-crystals, they instantly switch on and off at low temperatures (-40°C/-40°F) and do not fade—know as clearing—at high temperatures (65°C/149°F), circumstances that are common to civilian security and military exercises.